Updated: Saudi Arabia – Death Toll Rises to 5 After Flash Floods Hit Jeddah and Makkah

Unusually heavy rain fell in western, northern and central parts of Saudi Arabia on 17 November 2015.

Flood Deaths

Earlier yesterday, 17 November, Saudi Arabia’s Civil Defence reported that at least 2 people had died in Jeddah after they were electrocuted by power cables falling into flood water.

Since then 3 other flood-related deaths have been reported, all of them children. One of the fatalities occurred in Jeddah, another in the province of Hail, and the third in the western province of Yanbu.

“We are all pained today by the loss of our children’s lives in accidents and various areas after being swept away by the floodwaters,” the Civil Defense authority said.

One person, thought to be another child, is reported as missing in flood waters in Hail province.

Flash Floods in Jeddah

One of the worst hit areas was Jeddah, where flood water up to 1 metre deep could be seen in some areas. Today’s flooding is bringing back painful memories for many who experienced the terrible floods of 2009 where 120 people lost their lives.

Flash Floods in Makkah

Flooding was also reported in the city of Makkah, where a team from Saudi Arabia’s Civil Defence had to rescue at least 16 people who were trapped in the floods. Medina, Hail and Arar have also been affected by the heavy rain.

Rainfall Figures

So far records show that Jeddah saw 22 mm of rain today. Local witnesses say the rain fell in a very short space time – just 15 minutes – from around 10 am this morning.

WMO reports that 59 mm of rain fell in Tabuk during a 24 hour period to 17 November. Later Al Wajh saw 36 mm of rain. More rain is forecast for tomorrow.

According to local media, schools have been closed in affected areas and authorities have asked people to stay indoors wherever possible.

Floods in Jeddah, 17 November 2015. Photo: Saudi Arabia Civil Defence
Floods in Jeddah, 17 November 2015. Photo: Saudi Arabia Civil Defence
Floods in the streets of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, November 2015. Photos: Michael Englase, used with permission.
Floods in the streets of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, November 2015. Photos: Michael Englase, used with permission.
jeddah floods1
Floods in the streets of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, November 2015. Photos: Michael Englase, used with permission

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